First, dear reader, my apologies for being off the air for the past week or so.
I say so despite having a perfect excuse for my absence. Namely, that we, M and I, were busy moving house.
Rest assured. I am not going to burden you with the details of the experience, as thrilling and amusing as you might find it. And to be honest, my recollections of the event are still too raw to allow me to set them down right now. Perhaps in a year or two, when the mind (not to mention the body) has returned to some semblance of normal. (Will someone please shut off that bloody alarm! It’s driving me nuts!)
For now, I am happy that the worst of the ordeal is over. M and I are still, by some miracle of the human spirit, married and now living together in a return to our former connubial bliss in a village in Surrey. It is called East Horsley.
(No, I have no bloody idea where the television is. Who wants to watch television right now, anyway?)
Yes, there is a West Horsley, as well, but ours is the more salubrious of the two. Or so I’ve been told, though mainly by residents of the eastern bit. Both seem very nice to me.
(What do you mean you can’t get the fucking dining-room table into the fucking dining-room? Didn’t someone measure it? Me? I was supposed to measure it? Why, suddenly, is everything that goes wrong my fault?)
East Horsley is compact, pretty and friendly. But it is no one-horse town. There are horses everywhere – more horses than people would be my guess. No, we are not out in the sticks, or at least not too far out. We have not just one but two railway stations within walking distance, which is most convenient. What is not convenient is that the trains run right past the end of our garden – and rather more frequently than the estate agent had mentioned, probably by a factor of five hundred per cent. But then you can’t have everything, can you? Please excuse me for a moment.
(What the fuck do you mean, there’s water pouring through the kitchen ceiling? What’s that idiot plumber doing up there, for pity’s sake?)
The garden is lovely. We wake each morning to that most calming and English of sounds, the trill of an early blackbird; or at least we would wake each morning to the trill of an early blackbird if we had not already been woken by an even earlier train, the six o’clock commuter express, roaring its way to London with hooters blaring. Pardon me for one second.
(The water company says what! There’s a break in the waste pipe? So what are you telling me? That as well as being enveloped by boxes we’ll soon be submerged in our own shit? You’re damned right they’d better fix it.)
As I was saying, the house enjoys a lovely position, surrounded by woods and common land, ideal for walkers, cyclists and equestrians. I have a feeling we are going to love it here. Sorry, again.
(Calm down, dear. What are you saying? The whole fucking kitchen has gone to Southampton! Everything? What is it doing there? Tell me, please, how does East Fucking Horsley get confused with South fucking Hampton? And when will the kitchen be here instead of there? Two days from now! Wonderful!)
Anyway, I just thought I’d take advantage of these quiet few moments of not being interrupted to bring you up to date. You are all invited to pop down to see us (not all at once, mind) and when we find the kettle we’ll be happy to serve a nice afternoon tea. If you’d prefer something stronger, that can be arranged too, of course, just as soon as the cases carefully marked ‘Priority/Booze’ have returned from Ireland.
(Yes, darling, I heard the explosion! I’m coming right now.)
Dear reader, I will be in touch later ….